Recognizing the Bravery and Courage of the People of Iran

Floor Speech

Date: Dec. 13, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CUELLAR. Madam Speaker, it has been more than two months since 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died alone in a hospital bed in Tehran.

Two days before her death, Amini had been arrested by the Iranian regime's ``morality police.'' Her crime, in their eyes, was wearing a loose-fitting headscarf and tight-fitting pants. The Iranian regime claims that she died of a heart attack, but we know the truth: the police beat her to death.

The world has a tendency to look away from tragedies like Amini's. Stories like hers fade from the news cycle until they are forgotten or met with indifference. But when the Iranian people take to the streets every day to protest Amini's murder and demand fundamental rights, they make it impossible for the world to avert its gaze. By virtue of their courage, they force the world to bear witness. In the streets, protestors chant the inscription on Amini's tombstone: ``Beloved Mahsa, you will not die. Your name will become a rallying call.'' And her name has become just that.

Madam Speaker, I rise today in support of the brave women of Iran who are fighting for the right to live in freedom and dignity. I rise in support of the men standing alongside them who are demanding political rights and an end to theocratic rule. And I rise to solemnly recognize the terrible cost that the people of Iran are paying as they take to the streets. Security forces have killed hundreds of protestors, firing on them with live ammunition and beating them severely. Those caught up in mass arrests could face the death penalty.

The people of Iran are putting their lives on the line to demand fundamental freedoms. They suffer today in hopes of building a better tomorrow--for themselves, for their families, and for future generations. This is a profoundly noble effort that deserves not just our admiration, but also our support.

Those taking to the streets across Iran should know that we are watching them and that we are praying for them. And members of the Iranian regime should know that when a people truly yearn for freedom, and are willing to give their lives for it, their cause is a flame that will never go out.